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Very often the smallest space in the house, the cloakroom or downstairs toilet can often be a neglected room. However more effort is being made to make a statement and create a wow effect in this humble space. Bold colours, extravagant wallpapers and themed designs are all part of the trend, and it appears that today’s cloakroom is just the place for homeowners to ‘experiment’ with style.
In this guide to cloakroom ideas, we’ll show you all the things you need to consider if you are refurbishing your cloakroom or creating a new cloakroom in your home.
One of the first things you need to understand when planning a new cloakroom is exactly how much space you have to play with. Measure the area carefully, take into account room for ventilation and plumbing and consider different placements for key components.
It’s a good idea to create scaled cut-outs of the various elements and place them in situ. Don’t forget your door will more than likely need to swing outwards as this will make the room feel larger and be much easier to use.
The minimum size for a cloakroom to be functional is 700mm wide x 1300mm long. It should include a WC and a basin to be deemed a cloakroom and this will then add value to your home. Ideally size wise your cloakroom should be at least 800mm wide x 1400mm long – this will mean the space is much more comfortable.
A cloakroom can often fit under the stairs or be a sectioned off part of your entrance hall. If you’re creating such a space then it’s worth trying to position on an external wall which means that you can add a window so adding natural light and ventilation.
One other important thing to make sure you have is floor to ceiling height, you’ll need at least 1.8m for guests to wash their hands in comfort!
In the UK there are some building regulations that you’ll need to consider when planning a new cloakroom. If there isn’t a window then you will need to add an extractor fan for ventilation. You will also need to ensure that all lighting is safely installed and that your electrician supplies the required certification.
Try to install any new fixtures as near as possible to existing soil or waste pipes, this will keep you plumbing costs down considerably. Waste water from your toilet will need to run to the nearest soil pipe. You will also need hot and cold-water supply to your basin so again think about where other water supplies run to so that your plumber can take a feed more easily.
When space is tight you need to be very careful and buy only what you need. Search for space saving items such as cloakroom vanity units and back to wall or wall hung toilets. A corner sink may be perfect for your cloakroom and can be matched with a corner toilet to really make the best use of your space.
A compact vanity unit deigned to fit into a small space can be very useful. Not only do they look great but they also provide much needed storage, especially if you have a busy family who creates lots of clutter. A vanity unit can store items such as household cleaners, toilet paper and spare hand towels.
Decide on your preferred style contemporary or traditional, bold or calm and relaxing.
This is the room where you can let your imagination run wild. Experiment with beautiful interior design and express your individuality. This small space is the perfect place to be daring. However, remember small spaces look bigger when using light colours and keeping things simple. A dramatic floor will work very well with pale grey or white walls. Period cloakrooms are classy and elegant adding a timeless aesthetic to your home.
Using the same tiles on the wall and floor of your cloakroom will create a more cohesive space that will look and feel bigger.
Paint your walls, ceiling and skirting boards the same colour, this will also make the space look bigger as it expands the look of the walls. Use the same colour on your door and door frame too.
If you want to be bold and daring, wallpapering the walls and ceiling can draw attention away from the room’s small proportions. Opt for a large print which will make the room look more spacious, a small pattern will make it feel cosy. Vinyl wallpaper is a great option for bathrooms as it is designed to resist moisture. If you want to use a standard wallpaper:
Match your brassware to other metals in the room for an ultra-coordinated finish – brushed brass taps can be matched to vanity unit handles, mirror frames, toilet roll holder, toilet brush and towel ring. Try Crosswater MPRO Collection in Brushed Brass.
Add greenery, biophilia is a popular trend in bathrooms and carefully placed succulents look amazing in a small space.
Adding a mirror will also make the room look larger than it is. Opting for a mirrored cabinet will provide a practical storage solution.
You may find that a heated towel rail provides enough warmth but do check this before you make a purchase. Heat output of all radiators and heated towel rails is measured in BTUs. Very simply the higher the BTU the higher the heat output. Find out the amount of BTUs recommended for your space by using an online BTU calculator.
Have fun when creating your new cloakroom as well as adding value it will be hugely beneficial as no longer will guests have to go upstairs to the loo. The extra facility is great for busy families too.
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